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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Hyakujo: The Everest of Zen, with Basho's Haikus
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Chapter 4: Lie Down and Witness

Making man - who is the only conscious animal in the universe - worship far more sleepy animals, is a very dangerous strategy. It means making sleepiness virtually far more superior to awareness. Animals should be loved, should be respected, because somewhere at some time they will also reach to the same consciousness as you. There is a constant evolution going on - but worshipping the animal is dangerous.

Loving the animal is absolutely human. Loving the animal shows that you can see the future of these animals’ evolution. Some day they may come to the same point where we are, and some day they may come to the same height as any buddha. Regarding their future, you can be loving and respectful towards them.

But the strange phenomenon of worshipping animals means you are lower than the animals. And the thing becomes even more weird. You worship the animals - and you kill them for your food. On the one hand they are gods, and on the other hand game.

When a man kills a lion, they call it a game. And when a lion kills a man, they call it a disaster. Why do you change the word? In a game both the parties should be respected equally. For thousand of years man has been hunting without even bothering that he is destroying life. We are part of that same life. It is almost like destroying one’s own hand or one’s own eyes. Those animals are part of the cosmic whole just as we are. But the blindness of man can do both the things together. He can’t see the so obvious contradiction that the worshipped cannot be hunted. And if you are hunting, you know perfectly well, your worship is just phony.

Do you think even for a moment that you can go hunting for God? Searching for God is okay, but hunting for God? I have never heard that expression before. But that’s what you have been doing. First you make these animals gods and then you go hunting them. And you don’t see the contradiction. Your consciousness is also very superficial.

This museum of gods will provoke great criticism around the world. So many cases are bound to be forced on me, but I love to fight for unpopular causes. Who cares about animals? Who bothers that much to go to the court and to fight for them? I am not only fighting for the animals that they should not be worshipped, but that they should be respected and loved. They are our common brothers and sisters. We share the same existence. We should give them the dignity that belongs to them. And we should not destroy our dignity. But the priests want us not to be dignified. They want us to be as undignified and as great sinners as possible, because that makes them saints, and that makes them mediators between God and you.

The fish in the Hindu mythology is the first reincarnation of God. Why does God go on choosing such reincarnations? - and nobody ever thinks about these incarnations. Each incarnation has committed so many crimes that it is out of the question to worship them. They should simply be listed on the criminal records.

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